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Whether you want to liven up your family's dull holiday get-together, or be the life of the party when your high school classmates gather together over break, the Tumi Mixology Backpack ($700) will carry all the supplies you need. This backpack features coated Italian canvas construction with leather trim, and comes with all the gear you need to mix up a range of cocktails (gear like one- and two-ounce jiggers, a shaker, and a mixing spoon). It also sports plenty of additional pockets, slots, and sleeves to accommodate every bottle, mixer, and garnish you could ever need.
Visiting trendy cocktail bars can give you the opportunity to taste some impressive concoctions, but sometimes the price of one of these drinks can be tough to swallow. The Molecular Mixology Kit ($60) gives you the opportunity to recreate some of those high end cocktails in the privacy of your own home, and for a fraction of the price. The kit includes five pre-measured food additives, three specialized molecular tools as well as a 30-recipe DVD to help you keep your drink choices varied. So make room in the lab and add some intensity and new flavor to your cocktails.
It's a delicate goal, and one that most men spend the majority of their young lives trying to achieve, the much-sought-after work-life balance. You get up early for your job, work until late, and head out to meet friends for drinks — only to get up the next day and do it all again. With Ficks Cocktail Fortifiers ($15), you can maintain that careful balance, without feeling like crap after an overindulgent night. Each of these bottles (available in ginger, lemon, and lime) mixes deliciously with your favorite cocktail, and contains all the vitamins and nutrients your body needs to get you going the next day.
Even though inspiration for this scent was drawn from every facet of the whiskey production process, Hylnds Spirit Of The Glen Whiskey Fragrance ($180) won't leave you smelling like the crusty drunk at the end of the bar. Instead, it channels the deep distilling heritage of Speyside, Scotland (home of The Glenlivet), including the floral notes characteristic of its legendary spirit, the woody scent of aged oak casks and charred bourbon barrels, and the sweet aroma of wild pineapple weed. What you get is a unisex cologne that begins with the vanilla scent of wood, and finishes with the deep and unmistakeable scent of Scotch Whiskey.
While it sounds like a DIYer's guide to at-home booze making — and you'll certainly find directions for just that within these pages — the The Kings County Distillery Guide to Urban Moonshining: How to Make and Drink Whiskey ($16) is so much more. Split into several sections, this book first delves into the question of "what is whiskey?" followed by an in-depth history of the delicious brown stuff, and a detailed survey of all the options available. In the final two chapters, the book provides a guide for guys who want to safely distill whiskey at home, and then offers expert advice on how best to enjoy this intoxicating liquor in modern times.
When is tequila not like other tequilas? When it's a unique blend of carefully-selected tequilas each aged in small white oak barrels for at least a year. Blended to produce a smooth flavor and distinctive taste, this Patrón Añejo Limited Edition will be available to just 500 lucky members of the Patrón Social Club — so join now for your chance to win. Each bottle in this limited run comes fitted with an exclusive David Yurman bottle stopper, featuring solid metal die-cast construction, 24-karat gold and gun metal plating, and a design inspired by 18th century Japanese Samurai swords.
Sponsored by our friends at Patrón.
Give your next batch of home-brewed beer just the right amount of barrel-aged flavor with these used Homebrew Whiskey Barrels ($90). These barrels were used to age Texas-distilled blue corn whiskey for six months, making them ideal for containing your favorite barley wine, porter, or stout. Each five-gallon barrel is made from American white oak, and has been charred on the inside for an excellent smoky taste. They come with a stand and a rubber bung. They're available in very limited quantities, so pick one up while you still can.
Whether you like to jot down notes about all the craft beers you enjoy, or you just find inspiration at the bottom of a pint glass, Field Notes Drink Local Notebooks ($10) were made for you. These 48-page notebooks come in packs of three, wrapped in a cardboard carrier, and include a letter-pressed coaster for your brew. You can choose between blank, lined, and grid paper, and the notebooks come in beer-themed colors: choose ales (stout, amber ale, and india pale ale) or lagers (pilsner, bock, and pale lager).
If you liked their Alligator Skin Whiskey Flask, you're really going to like the Coach x Billy Reid Kentucky Cocktail Set ($600). This smooth black leather case comes packed with everything you need to make a cocktail on the move — three flasks, two shot glasses, a bar spoon, a napkin, and a folding knife — and features an attractive custom-designed liner. Each piece straps in to its own place, keeping them secure so you can carry it with you anywhere. All you need to add is the booze.
From the guys who brought you Pretentious Beer Glasses comes the Dual Beer Glass ($135) — the perfect way to enjoy two of your favorite beers at the same time. This specialty glass has two chambers inside its cylindrical shape that combine into one near the lip, allowing both beers to stay separate until you take a sip. It's ideal for beer combination drinks like the Half and Half or Black and Tan (or any two beers you think might suit one another). While their size varies due to production technique, they run about five to six inches tall, and contain 10 to 12 ounces of beer each. They come in sets of four.
Whether you're headed to an apple orchard, trick-or-treating, or just taking in a game, keep the autumn chill at bay with a nip of your go-to brown liquor in this Coach x Billy Reid Whiskey Flask ($200 or $500). Available with either leather or alligator detailing, you can carry your booze in a style befitting your favorite fall getup. Part of a limited edition, these flasks will go quickly, so get yours before they run out.
Ready to take your bartending to the next level? Fee Brothers Bitters ($60) can help. This six-bottle set includes six hard-to-find, hand selected cocktail bitters, including Cherry, Celery, Grapefruit, Peach, Aztec Chocolate, and Old Fashioned — allowing you to expand your mixology horizons beyond the ol' Jack and Coke.
Who said all glasses has to sit straight up? This Normann Copenhagen Swirling Cognac Glass ($65/Set of 2) is designed to enhance the experience of sipping on your favorite cognac by encouraging the swirling of the liquid, helping to release the aromas and highlight the spirit's deep color. They come packed in a gift box, so if you're thinking of buying a set of someone else, you're covered — but if it was us, we'd make sure to order an extra for yourself.
Already one of the best distilleries on the Bourbon Trail, Buffalo Trace isn't one to rest on their laurels. The pioneering distillery is in the process of releasing the Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection ($46 each), the returns from testing recipes and barrel treatments that began two decades ago. For their most recent wheat entry, the same bourbon recipe was put into barrels at different proofs (from 125 to 90) and aged for 11 years and 7 months. All four were then bottled at 90 proof. There isn't a bad one in the bunch, so grab one for your collection or all four for a taste test experiment of your own.
How important is the water that is used to craft gin? Downright essential, if you ask the folks at Jack Rabbit Hill Farm in Colorado. Their CapRock Organic Gin ($30) sources pure spring water from an actual Caprock for this inebriant. In fact, it's one of the only purely organic gins made in the USA. It springs forward with a complex blend of apples, juniper, and an intriguing floral bouquet. Sip on it straight, and then mix up a batch of Tom Collins or Gin & Tonics for a crisp, clean cocktail at your next summer get together.
Complete your southern-themed bar experience with the Mason Shaker ($30). As the name suggests, this fully-functional cocktail shaker is based around the ubiquitous Mason Jar, adding a three-piece solution — strainer, outer rim, and cap — to the top, elevating the classic southern drinking vessel from something you use to hold your drink to something you use to make it.
For bourbon enthusiasts who don't have deep pockets, Bulleit Bourbon inches ahead of an increasingly crowded pack. So when bottles of Bulleit's brand new bourbon landed on our desk, we were ready to taste the trusted distillers latest drink. Bulleit 10 Year Bourbon ($45) is the brand's selected reserve, aged in their charred American white oak barrels, but for a few years longer than their staple bourbon. It's noticeably smooth, with hints of creamy vanilla and some faint dried fruit. Imagine the standard Bulleit Bourbon but with more flavor and a quick, balanced burn. The next time you reach for a bottle of Bulleit, grab a few extra dollars and gravitate towards Bulleit 10.
There are plenty of suitable resources out there if you want to learn to mix up a cocktail — but if you care about more than just the proper proportions, the right bitters to use in a Manhattan, or whether a Martini calls for gin or vodka, then check out The Cocktail Lab: Unraveling the Mysteries of Flavor and Aroma in Drink, with Recipes ($22). While it certainly contains plenty of drink recipes to keep you and your friends buzzed, it also goes deeper into the art and science behind mixology. It promises not only to teach you how to mix drinks, but to change the way you think about making cocktails.
What is arguably the best summer cocktail, the gin and tonic, just got a little bit better, thanks to the Gin Wheel ($500). This Lazy Susan-style cabinet houses everything you need to mix up a proper drink — the center cutout holds your gin, doors on the top open to reveal an ice reservoir, a cutting board lifts off uncovering a garnish tray, and the side slides away revealing glasses, coasters, and bar tools. Includes four specialty glasses, four wood coasters, stainless steel ice tongs, a paring knife, a jigger, and a stirring spoon.
While we wouldn't recommend it for determining if you're good to drive, the Kisai Breathalyzer Watch ($100) could make for some pretty interesting bar games. After breathing into the side of the watch, an LED backlight responds, turning green if you're sober, yellow if you're tipsy, and red if you're drunk — as well as displaying your BAC percentage. The stainless steel watch has an adjustable band and a USB-rechargeable battery that lasts for a month on a charge. It also displays the time, of course, so last call won't sneak up on you.